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Security Heightened at US Embassies Ahead of CIA Torture Report Release

A White House spokesperson has said there are indications of a greater risk to US facilities around the world.

by Ben Bryant
Dec 9 2014, 11:40am

Image via Reuters

Security has been ramped up at US embassies and facilities across the world as the White House braces itself for the release of a report into CIA interrogations and torture, officials have said. 

Additional precautions will be taken by embassies and other sites due to "some indications" of "greater risk", White House spokesperson Josh Earnest told reporters on Monday.

"The administration has taken the prudent steps to ensure that the proper security precautions are in place," he said. 

Secretary of State John Kerry had earlier asked Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein to "consider" changing the timing of the report; however, Earnest told reporters it would be "difficult to imagine" an ideal time to make the months-delayed summary public.

A 480-page summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee's torture report is due to be released as early as Tuesday, and will contain details of the CIA's post-9/11 torture.

The Senate report on CIA interrogation is about to reignite debate over the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Read more here.

It is understood to detail the "enhanced interrogation" methods used by CIA operatives to extract information from suspects — which included waterboarding, slapping and sleep deprivation — and is expected to say that such methods were unsatisfactory.

The report has been delayed for months in the midst of a nadir in relations between the CIA and its Senate overseer. On Monday the Obama administration made a final effort to suppress its release, welcoming the report but warning that US interests overseas could be vulnerable to violent reactions to its contents.

The 6600-page report itself will not be released, and only a heavily-redacted version of the 480-page summary will be declassified.

The Senate is not happy that the CIA censored its report on CIA torture. Read more here.

Nevertheless, its release is expected to be met with a furious response from the CIA and its allies.

Former president George W Bush lauded the CIA, describing its agents as "patriots", in an interview with CNN on Sunday.

"We're fortunate to have men and women who work hard at the CIA serving on our behalf," he said.

President Obama ended the CIA interrogation program when he took office in 2009, acknowledging that its methods amounted to torture.

The CIA's post-9/11 rendition, detention and interrogation program saw as many as 100 suspected terrorists held at "black sites" outside the US.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has spent years compiling the report and the panel, which is controlled by Democrats, first voted to release the executive summary in April. 

Laura Pitter, senior national security counsel at Human Rights Watch, told VICE News: "Two US administrations have kept the extent of abuses by the CIA program from the American public for far too long.

"We hope the release of the summary will be the beginning, not the end, of investigations into US torture to ensure it never happens again."

Follow Ben Bryant on Twitter: @benbryant